New Yorkers Rejected The Six Plans
June 22, 2002
By Ana María Ramírez
Many New Yorkers rejected the six plans for the area where the
Twin Towers once stood presented by the Lower Manhattan Development
Corporation, but some consider that it is a first step for the renewal
of the area.
In the "Listening to the City" event that took place
on Saturday at the Jacob K. Javits center, at which about 5,500
people attended, family members of victims of the terrorist attacks
criticized the memorial plans and architects called the plans "boring."
Benjamín Arroyo, a survivor of the attacks, said that we
should not build on the place where the Twin Towers once were, but
the final project should include tall elements that stand out in
Manhattans landscape. "Something as grandiose as what
was there before. It doesnt need to be a tower, it could be
Arroyo, who worked at the Marriott hotel as a porter for 17 years,
added that economic interests are the priority in reconstruction.
"It took me eight months to stop crying about what I saw: people
burning up, jumping, and the buildings falling. Larry Silverstein
and the Port Authoritys needs have been put first, and I agree
with that. It isnt realistic for the entire area to be a memorial."
After September 11, Arroyo has come forward as a volunteer to defend
the workers, like himself, who were left unemployed after the attacks
and havent received enough help. "The Marriott company
has behaved very badly, they tried to just shake us off and according
to the Victims Compensation Fund I dont have the requirements
to receive aid because I didnt have any physical injuries,
although since September 11 I have had many problems with my lungs."
William Rodríguez worked in the World Trade Center for 20
years and is leading the aid organization for Hispanic victims.
He is inclined to support the plan "Memorial Promenade,"
that contemplates the construction of six towers, 2 with 63 floors
and four with 32, a grand walkway and a park. "In the others,
the buildings appear piled up too close to each other. In general,
I didnt like the six plans. They have to go back to the drawing
Even though Rodríguez supports rebuilding and renewing the
area where the World Trade Center stood, he said that the process
shouldnt be moving so quickly. "I know my own feelings
and those of the family members. If they want to redevelop lower
Manhattan there are other areas like South Street in the Streetport,
the East part of Canal Street and the docks on the East side where
there is nothing right now."
For Rodríguez, one of the priorities is building a system
of subway trains in the area.
Another survivor of the terrorist attacks, Enrique Cruz, said that
even though he is still suffering the consequences of what happened
on September 11, he would like to again work in the area where the
Twin Towers once stood. "They operated on my knee because I
fell various times trying to escape and saving many people. I am
in therapy but I have been keeping a positive attitude; I have passed
through so many dangers."
Cruz said that he is not against the idea of constructing office
buildings in the area. "There are people who spend a lot of
money to get these contracts, and it is important for the economy.
We need to keep moving forward."
Translated from Spanish by Erica Pearson